4901:1-29-05 Marketing and solicitation.

(A) Each retail natural gas supplier and governmental aggregator that offers competitive retail natural gas service to customers shall provide, in marketing materials that include or accompany a service contract, sufficient information for customers to make informed cost comparisons.

(1) For fixed-rate offers, such information shall, at minimum, include:

(a) The cost per Ccf or Mcf, whichever is consistent with the incumbent natural gas company's billing format, for natural gas supply.

(b) The amount of any other recurring or nonrecurring retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator charges.

(c) A statement that the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's rate is exclusive of all applicable state and local taxes and the incumbent natural gas company's service and delivery charges.

(2) For variable-rate offers, such information shall, at minimum, include:

(a) A clear and understandable explanation of the factors that will cause the price to vary (including any related indices) and how often the price can change.

(b) The amount of any other recurring or retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator charges.

(c) A statement that the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's rate is exclusive of all applicable state and local taxes and the incumbent natural gas company's service and delivery charges.

(B) A retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's promotional and advertising material shall be provided to the commission or its staff within three business days of a request by the commission or its staff.

(C) No retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator may engage in marketing, solicitation, sales acts, or practices which are unfair, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable in the marketing, solicitation, or sale of a competitive retail natural gas service. Such unfair, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable acts or practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Soliciting customers for a competitive retail natural gas service after suspension, rescission, or conditional rescission of certification by the commission or after denial of certification renewal by the commission.

(2) Failing to comply with paragraph (A) or (B) of this rule.

(3) Failing to provide in or with its advertisements and promotional materials that make an offer for sale, a toll-free/local telephone number (and address for printed materials) which the potential customer may call or write to request detailed information regarding the price, terms, conditions, limitations, and restrictions.

(4) Soliciting via telephone calls initiated by the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator (or its agent) without first obtaining the list of Ohio customers who have requested to be placed on the federal trade commission's "do not call" list registry and obtaining every thirty-one days updates of the federal trade commission's "do not call" registry.

(5) Engaging in telephone solicitation of Ohio customers who have been placed on the federal trade commission's "do not call" registry.

(6) Engaging in telephone solicitation to residential customers either before nine a.m. or after nine p.m..

(7) Engaging in direct solicitation to customers where the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's sales agent fails to wear and display a valid retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator photo identification. The format for this identification shall preapproved by the staff.

(8) Advertising or marketing offers that:

(a) Claim that a specific price advantage, savings, or guarantee exists if it does not, or may exist if it will not.

(b) Claim to provide a competitive retail natural gas service when such an offer is not a bona fide offer to sell such services.

(c) Offer a fixed price per Ccf or Mcf, whichever is consistent with the incumbent natural gas company's billing format, for competitive retail natural gas service without disclosing all recurring and nonrecurring charges.

(d) Offer a variable price per Ccf or Mcf, whichever is consistent with the incumbent natural gas company's billing format, for competitive retail natural gas service without disclosing all recurring and nonrecurring charges.

(e) Fail to disclose all material limitations, exclusions, and offer expiration dates.

(f) Fail to fully disclose, in an appropriate and conspicuous type-size, an affiliate relationship on advertising or marketing offers that use affiliated natural gas company name and logo.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.22
Rule Amplifies: 4929.22
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 2/24/05